Skincare Products » Best Anti-Aging Products

15 Best Anti-Aging Products for 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Our bodies change as we get older — that’s just a fact of life. Some of those changes, like dry skin, wrinkles, and loss of tone, aren’t always welcome. 

With age, our skin slows down its production of collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep the skin looking smooth and firm. External factors, like lifestyle and sun exposure, can speed up that process, which is called “extrinsic aging.”

In come: anti-aging products that help to slow down time. Beauty brands make some massive claims, but which products actually work to firm the skin or fade wrinkles? We’ve created a list of the best anti-aging products, focusing on evidence-based skincare ingredients that can make a difference. 

Best anti-aging products overview:

How we chose the best anti-aging skincare

To compile this list, we looked at published research and manufacturer specifications to create a short list of the top anti-aging skincare products. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ingredients, ratings, and reviews to find the best anti-aging product for each category.

Our picks for the best anti-aging products

Best overall
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

What we love

  • Comprehensive sun protection
  • Pleasant, lightweight formula
  • Made with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey

Arguably, the best anti-aging product you could buy is sunscreen, which is why this uber-popular product with SPF 46 is our top choice. No anti-aging serum or lotion can beat the effects of using SPF every day to prevent photoaging

EltaMD’s formula is famously elegant and pleasant on the skin regardless of skin type. In addition to comprehensive broad-spectrum protection, this sunscreen also contains niacinamide, an antioxidant with many benefits, including the ability to brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. 

For a touch of hydration, it includes moisture-attracting hyaluronic acid, while the overall formula remains light on the skin with a natural, non-greasy finish.

Product type: Sunscreen | Key ingredients: SPF filters, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid

Best budget
Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Moisturizing
  • Vitamins C and E offer antioxidant protection

What we don’t love

  • Might be greasy for oily skin

One way to ensure you use sunscreen as often as necessary is to buy a more budget-friendly option. That’s why we’re big fans of this moisturizing, high-SPF option from Neutrogena. It offers broad-spectrum protection, which helps prevent UVA damage strongly responsible for premature aging. 

The formula is reinforced by antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E to further protect your skin from aging free-radical damage. It’s lightweight and easy to spread but quite moisturizing, which is useful if you’ve noticed dryness with age. If your skin is oily, though, you may find it a little greasy.

Product type: Sunscreen | Key ingredients: SPF filters, glycerin, vitamin C, vitamin E

Best treatment
Differin Gel

What we love

  • Visibly reduces facial wrinkles
  • Also helps with acne, skin tone, and hydration
  • Affordable

What we don’t love

  • May be irritating initially

Though technically marketed as an anti-acne treatment, Differin could also have a place in your anti-aging routine. This over-the-counter retinoid may be less intense than prescription options, but clinical research shows that it can significantly reduce facial wrinkles while improving skin tone and hydration. Plus, it’s quite affordable, especially in comparison to luxury cosmetic treatments. 

Just bear in mind that, as with many retinoids, it poses a minor risk of skin irritation, especially when you first start using it. Consider easing your way into it by only using it a few times a week until you see how your skin reacts.

Product type: Treatment gel | Key ingredients: Adapalene

Best budget treatment
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Renews skin to fade wrinkles, pigmentation, and texture
  • Robust evidence for efficacy

What we don’t love

  • Oily texture
  • May be too strong for sensitive skin

As far as cosmetic anti-aging ingredients go, the evidence behind retinol is unsurpassed. Science-based skincare brand The Ordinary has a robust portfolio of cosmetic retinoids, but this is its most potent option. The 1% retinol treatment helps to encourage skin renewal to reduce wrinkles, skin texture, and hyperpigmentation.

In this formula, the retinol is dispersed in squalane — an oil-like emollient that can moisturize the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, but you may not enjoy it if you have oily skin. Unless your skin is extremely sensitive, starting with this powerful formula is ideal. Otherwise, The Ordinary also has weaker concentrations that’ll help you ease your way in.

Product type: Oil | Key ingredients: Retinol, squalane

Best cream
Olay Retinol24 + Peptide Night Face Moisturizer

What we love

  • Includes skin-smoothing retinol
  • Reasonably priced
  • Creamy and moisturizing

What we don’t love

  • Retinol percentage not disclosed

We don’t usually think of Olay as a modern brand. Yet, this is a beautifully formulated night cream with some highly effective anti-aging ingredients — not to mention at a very reasonable price. 

First, it contains retinol, the wrinkle-fighting superstar, although Olay doesn’t disclose its precise quantity. Second, it includes niacinamide, with a broad range of skin benefits and amino peptides with skin-smoothing and firming effects. The overall formula is creamy and moisturizing for 24-hour hydration. 

Product type: Night cream | Key ingredients: Retinol, niacinamide

Best for sensitive skin
Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Collagen Activating Serum

What we love

  • Gentle skin-friendly formula
  • Peptides boost skin firmness
  • Restores skin’s lipid barrier

What we don’t love

  • Not as powerful as retinoid-based serums

The best anti-aging products often also have the highest potential to irritate the skin. Unfortunately, irritation itself can speed up the aging process, so for those with sensitive skin, it’s a delicate balance. 

If you’d like an anti-aging boost without the risk of sensitizing the skin, this unique serum is worth a try. Its anti-aging effects come courtesy of six peptides that boost skin firmness without the risk of dryness or irritation. They may not be as powerful as retinoids, but they still show some promise

It’s also made with a patent-pending B-L3 complex to improve and restore the skin’s lipid barrier for enhanced hydration. This sheer act of moisturizing will plump your skin with water to immediately reduce the severity of fine lines.

Product type: Serum | Key ingredients: B-L3 complex, peptides

Best firming cream
StriVectin Contour Restore Tightening & Sculpting Face Cream

What we love

  • Improves skin firmness
  • Results in as little as 4 weeks
  • Creamy and moisturizing

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

This is more than just a moisturizer — it’s a cream designed to offer a powerful anti-aging and firming effect with impressive clinical research to back it. StriVectin’s testing showed that this cream was able to improve firmness within just four weeks and smooth out folds within eight weeks. 

It’s made with peptides, which are tiny amino acid chains that may have a real impact on skin tightness and wrinkles. The formula also includes hydrating glycolipids, as well as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter, making for a creamy, moisturizing formula.

Product type: Cream | Key ingredients: Dipeptides, glycolipids, hyaluronic acid

Best cleanser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

What we love

  • Removes dirt and makeup
  • Gentle formula
  • Leaves skin soft and moisturized

What we don’t love

  • Wash-off formulas have minimal skin impact

Harsh cleansers can dry the skin, making signs of aging seem more prominent. That’s why the cleansing step of your anti-aging skincare routine should be as gentle as possible while still effectively removing debris from your skin. 

This cleanser is made with ceramides and niacinamide to keep the skin fortified. It’s hydrating and pH balanced to keep your skin soft and primed for your powerful leave-on anti-aging products. Since it’s a wash-off, it’s not a powerful anti-aging product on its own, but it’ll help support your other efforts.

Product type: Cleanser | Key ingredients: Niacinamide, ceramide-3

Best exfoliant
Tula Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Treatment Toner

What we love

  • Exfoliates skin thoroughly
  • Low percentage is gentle but anti-aging
  • Includes microbiome-supporting ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Can make skin sensitive to the sun

Glycolic acid is a powerful exfoliator that removes dead skin and aids collagen production (at least in lower concentrations). It’s among the best exfoliating ingredients for addressing signs of aging. 

There are many great alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) products to choose from, but this toner from Tula is one of our favorites for its extra-hydrating, microbiome-supporting formula. In addition to AHA, it contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich snow mushroom and blueberry extracts. Testing showed that this formula visibly improves skin brightness and texture.

Product type: Toner | Key ingredients: Glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, snow mushroom, blueberry extract

Best for the body
Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

What we love

  • Designed to smooth the skin
  • Hydrating lotion formula
  • Fragrance-free

What we don’t love

  • Polarizing smell

If you’d like your anti-aging efforts to extend beyond your face, consider a body lotion with retinol. This formula from the science-based brand Paula’s Choice contains 0.1% retinol to encourage smoother, firmer skin. It takes the form of a hydrating lotion that moisturizes the skin while renewing it so that you can use it daily as your go-to cream. 

As with all Paula’s Choice products, this lotion is fragrance-free, although some reviewers did find its natural scent a little off-putting.

Product type: Lotion | Key ingredients: Retinol, shea butter, vitamin C

Best vitamin C
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic With 15% L-Ascorbic Acid

What we love

  • Neutralizes damage that causes premature aging
  • Highly stable and effective
  • Some improvement in fine lines and wrinkles

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Odd natural smell

We can’t complete a list of anti-aging skincare without including this cult-favorite luxury serum. This antioxidant formula, filled with a patented blend of vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, is unusually stable and effective. It neutralizes damage that leads to premature aging and even helps to reverse existing fine lines and wrinkles slightly. 

We recommend using it in the daytime, with a retinoid at night. Since it’s fragrance-free, it’s even a safe bet for those with sensitive skin, but some reviewers noted disliking the naturally occurring smell of the formula.

Product type: Serum | Key ingredients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid

Best retinal serum
Protocol Lab Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum

What we love

  • Retinal is potentially stronger than retinol
  • Special bottle keeps ingredients fresh
  • Antioxidant protection from niacinamide

What we don’t love

  • Temporary orange tint

This bright orange serum looks a little unusual, but it promises greater results than a high-percentage retinol serum. It’s made with retinaldehyde (shortened to retinal), which is what retinol converts into once it’s applied to the skin. 

It’s a very fragile ingredient, so Protocol developed a special bottling system to keep it fresh. The formula also includes niacinamide, gluconolactone, and a few other skin-supporting and antioxidant ingredients. It’s best used at night since the bright orange color of the retinal can tint the skin.

Product type: Serum | Key ingredients: Retinal, niacinamide, gluconolactone

Best for the eyes
Versed Advanced Retinoid Eye Balm

What we love

  • Gentle enough for delicate eye area
  • Granactive retinoids smooth fine lines
  • Thick, moisturizing formula

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey

Eye creams are a little overrated, but if you want to use a retinoid around the eyes, it makes sense to choose a gentle, eye-safe formula. This eye balm is exactly that, with granactive retinoid helping to soften and smooth fine lines around the eyes with a lower risk of irritation than pure retinol. 

The retinoid sits in a thick balm made with moisturizing shea butter and antioxidant black currant seed oil. Since it’s thick, it’s best used at night. While we do find the formula pricey for a small amount of product, it’s very concentrated and would likely last you a long time.

Product type: Eye balm | Key ingredients: Granactive retinoid, shea butter, black currant seed oil

Best splurge
SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum

What we love

  • Innovative anti-aging technology
  • Dramatic skin-firming effect
  • Backed by clinical research

What we don’t love

  • Very expensive
  • Not as well-researched as other ingredients

This unusual serum might pique your interest if you enjoy splurging on the latest technologies. It’s made with a human growth factor blend that may directly impact collagen synthesis. Since growth factors in skincare are still a very new technology, they haven’t withstood the test of time the way retinoids have, but the data so far is very exciting. 

The precise mechanism of action isn’t entirely clear, since growth factors are new in skincare, but SkinMedica’s own research shows dramatic improvement in skin firmness, tone, and texture.

Product type: Serum | Key ingredients: Human growth factor blend, peptides

Best device
Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

What we love

  • Red mode reduces fine lines
  • Blue mode targets breakouts
  • Quicky and easy to use

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

Though we were initially skeptical, the evidence behind LED light therapy for anti-aging is very promising! Using this mask on red mode can help soften fine lines and wrinkles within just 10 weeks. There’s also a blue light mode to address acne. 

A single treatment only takes three minutes, so it’s easy and convenient to use regularly. The device is quite pricey, but it’s a great option if your skin can’t tolerate potent leave-on products or if you want to tackle signs of aging with various approaches.

Product type: LED mask | Key ingredients: N/A

Age prevention and reversal

There are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of products that promise anti-aging results. In practice, only a few ingredients are worth your time and money, and, for the most part, they’re not too expensive. 

The most effective method of preserving the skin’s youth is sun protection, which is why our best overall pick was EltaMD’s UV Clear sunscreen. It’s the kind of elegant, effective sunscreen that seems to suit just about everyone. Aside from that, consider adding a retinoid that your skin can tolerate. 

How to pick the right anti-aging products for you

Choosing anti-aging products that’ll actually work is mainly about ingredient literacy. You also want to keep in mind your existing anti-aging skincare routine and how to add new items to it. 


There isn’t a lot of science to back most anti-aging ingredients, and a lot of the evidence that does exist comes from the brands or manufacturers. 

With that in mind, sunscreen filters stand out as absolute must-haves for preventing premature aging. In particular, it’s essential to look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that block both UVB and UVA. 

The next best ingredient category is retinoids, which include retinol, retinal, adapalene, and other forms of vitamin A. These ingredients are proven to act on retinoic acid receptors in the skin to trigger the production of new skin cells and collagen. Research shows they’re especially effective at fading fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and skin texture. However, they can also irritate the skin at the outset, which is part of a process called “retinization.” 

Next, we have antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and niacinamide. As a category, antioxidants offer protection from external forces of oxidative damage that speed up skin aging. Some, like vitamin C and niacinamide, have also shown the ability to visibly reduce existing signs of aging. 

Finally, there are ingredients described as cell-communicating, like peptides and epidermal growth factors. It’s a new but promising category of ingredients, and they’re often recommended specifically for increasing skin firmness. However, these are also patented ingredients, so they’re typically expensive, and the research to back their efficacy is almost exclusively sponsored by brands or manufacturers. 

Skincare routine

It makes the most sense to introduce anti-aging products as add-ons to your existing skincare routine rather than overhauling it from start to finish. For best results, you’ll want these products to be part of your daily routine — once or twice a week just doesn’t cut it unless we’re talking about chemical exfoliants. 

Serums are by far the most popular starting point because they’re easy to add to an existing routine, and their light texture means they penetrate readily into the skin. Most anti-aging serums are best used at night, with the exception of vitamin C, which works synergistically with sunscreen in the daytime. Cleansers, toners, and moisturizers can also play a role, but they’re more supportive. 


What’s the most effective anti-aging treatment? 

When it comes to skincare products, broad-spectrum sunscreens like EltaMD’s UV Clear are the most effective treatment by a long shot since they’re the only products that actively prevent the damaging effects of the sun. Behind them, treatments with retinoids, vitamin C, and peptides also show significant promise. 

What do dermatologists recommend for aging skin?

The American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendations for aging skin focus on simple but evidence-backed habits like using sunscreen and moisturizer, avoiding sun exposure, taking gentle care of the skin, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

When should you start using anti-aging products?

There’s no definitive age to start using anti-aging products. For example, parents and guardians should start using sunscreen when their children are as young as six months old, as sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging product. Other anti-aging products, like retinoids and chemical exfoliants, can also help with concerns like acne, texture, or pigmentation, so you may want to start them in your teens.